News Releases

7/22/2014: Operation Firecracker Yields Nearly 2,000 DWI Arrests

Operation Firecracker Yields Nearly 2,000 DWI Arrests

Posted 7/22/2014 11:18:21 AM

RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation and the Governor’s Highway Safety Program announced today that 1,929 DWI arrests were made during “Booze It & Lose It: Operation Firecracker” which ran from June 27 through July 6.   “The 4th of July Holiday is a great time to celebrate the freedoms we have as Americans,” said Don Nail director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program. “We thank our law enforcement partners for protecting our freedoms and keeping us safe by arresting those who make the decision to drink and drive.” The top five counties for DWI arrests during the 4th of July “Booze It & Lose It: Operation Firecracker” campaign include: • Wake County with 197 DWI arrests; • Guilford County with 141 DWI arrests; • Mecklenburg County with 105 DWI arrests; • Cumberland County with 88 DWI arrests; and • Robeson County with 86 DWI arrests. In addition to DWI arrests, local and state law enforcement officers issued 64,626 traffic and criminal citations statewide at 8,018 checking stations and patrols. They also issued 4,666 safety belt and 849 child passenger safety violations; 18,862 speeding violations; 278 work zone violations and 1,869 drug charges. In addition, they apprehended 1,565 fugitives from justice and recovered 108 stolen vehicles. For more information regarding “Booze It & Lose It” activities and county totals, contact Heather Jeffreys at (919) 707-2665 or visit the GHSP website. ***NCDOT***
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6/27/2014: “Booze It & Lose It: Operation Firecracker” is Underway

“Booze It & Lose It: Operation Firecracker” is Underway

Posted 6/27/2014 9:54:38 AM

RALEIGH – The Fourth of July is a favorite holiday for many North Carolinians.  Families and friends gather across the state to celebrate our nation’s independence with parades, parties and fireworks. The celebration often includes alcohol, and the holiday can quickly go from festive to fatal when people choose to drive after drinking. The N.C. Department of Transportation and the Governor’s Highway Safety Program remind you to avoid driving after drinking, or you will get caught. “On Independence Day or any other day of the year, if you are driving after drinking, law enforcement will be working to keep you off the roads,” said Don Nail, director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program. “Driving after even one drink is risking your life and the lives of others. It’s simple – just don’t do it. Get a ride home from someone that has not been drinking.” In 2013, there were 353 alcohol-related fatalities in North Carolina. Fewer people have lost their lives to alcohol-related crashes this year, with statistics showing 105 alcohol-related fatalities through June 20, compared to 164 at the same point last year. Stepped up saturation patrols, checking stations and increased public awareness are all playing a role in ensuring that those who decide to drink don’t drive. To keep our state trending in the right direction and continue saving lives, NCDOT and GHSP recommend these simple tips to prevent drunk driving: • Plan a safe way home before the fun begins; • Before drinking, designate a sober driver; • If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation; • If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact your local law enforcement; • If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely. Stepped up enforcement for “Booze It & Lose It: Operation Firecracker” continues through July 6. For more information regarding “Booze It & Lose It” activities, contact Heather Jeffreys at (919) 707-2660 or visit the GHSP website. ***NCDOT***
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6/11/2014: May “Click It or Ticket” Campaign Yields 14,600 Violations

May “Click It or Ticket” Campaign Yields 14,600 Violations

Posted 6/11/2014 2:00:37 PM

RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation and the Governor’s Highway Safety Program announced today that 14,600 drivers and passengers were cited for seat belt and child passenger safety violations during the May “Click It or Ticket” campaign held May 19 through June 1.    “Enforcement is key in changing driver and passenger behavior,” said Don Nail, director of GHSP. “Our law enforcement partners issue seat belt citations to save lives. Wearing a seat belt decreases your chances of suffering critical injuries or even death in a crash by 50 percent.” To ensure the enforcement message reached motorists statewide, state and local law enforcement officers increased patrols and manned more than 11,400 checkpoints during the campaign. This amplified enforcement effort resulted in 3,662 more citations this May than during the same period last year. The counties which issued highest number of seat belt citations include: • Wake County with 1,177 seat belt tickets; • Robeson County with 861; • Mecklenburg County with 723; • Guilford County with 712; and • Brunswick County with 648. Each June following the May enforcement period, North Carolina’s annual seat belt usage survey is conducted in 15 counties. Last year, the seat belt usage rate improved to 88.6 percent, an increase of 1.1 percent. Results from this year’s survey will be released later this summer. In addition to cracking down on unrestrained drivers and passengers, officers across the state charged 1,987 motorists with driving while impaired. Officers also issued 23,929 speeding citations and 13,566 criminal violations, including 2,697 drug charges. For county by county totals or more information regarding “Click It or Ticket” activities, contact Heather Jeffreys at (919) 707-2665, or visit the GHSP website. ***NCDOT***
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5/19/2014: "Click It or Ticket" Isn't Just for Drivers

"Click It or Ticket" Isn't Just for Drivers

Posted 5/19/2014 11:47:40 AM

Raleigh — Since its statewide launch 21 years ago, the “Click It or Ticket” education and enforcement program has consistently increased driver seat belt usage rates and reduced fatalities across North Carolina. In June 2013, a seat belt survey showed that 89.6 percent of drivers were buckled up compared to 88 percent the previous year. Despite the steady increase in the number of drivers buckling up, passenger usage rates are down across the state. Front seat passenger seat belt usage rates dropped in 2013 to 84.9 percent, down from 85.7 percent in 2012. As the spring “Click It or Ticket” campaign kicks off today, the Governor’s Highway Safety Program along with the N.C. Department of Transportation reminds passengers that it is the law to wear your seat belt - “Every Seat. Every Time.” Law enforcement officers across the state will be out day and night enforcing “Click It or Ticket” for drivers and passengers who fail to buckle up. Failure to buckle up can result in fines of up to $161. “Tremendous progress has been made in driver education and awareness, and most North Carolinians know that wearing your seat belt is not only the law, but can save your life,” said Don Nail, director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program. “But many don’t know that goes for passengers, too. The law requires you to buckle up no matter where you sit in the car. Our law enforcement partners can and will issue a seat belt citation to a passenger if they fail to abide by the law.” NCDOT produced a public service announcement to remind drivers and passengers that wearing a seat belt is not an option; the law applies to “Every Seat. Every Time.” The “Click It or Ticket” campaign launches today, May 19 and runs through the Memorial Day holiday weekend and ends on June 1. Wake County law enforcement agencies partnered with the Governor’s Highway Safety Program earlier today at the PNC Arena in Raleigh to kick off the campaign. The event was held in Wake County to highlight its decline in seat belt usage in recent years.  The county-wide passenger seat belt usage rate in 2013 was 83.4 percent, a 6.1 percent drop from 2012. NCDOT, the Governor’s Highway Safety Program and law enforcement agencies across North Carolina are working together to reach a goal of 100 percent seat belt use among all vehicle occupants.  For additional information, please visit ClickItorTicket.org. ***NCDOT***
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3/14/2014: Don’t Rely on the Luck of the Irish this St. Patrick’s Day, Make a Designated Driver Your Lucky Charm

Don’t Rely on the Luck of the Irish this St. Patrick’s Day, Make a Designated Driver Your Lucky Charm

Posted 3/14/2014 2:30:08 PM

RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation and the Governor’s Highway Safety Program remind drivers that their luck will run out if they decide to drive after drinking too much green beer and Irish whiskey this St. Patrick’s Day. Starting Friday, law enforcement officers statewide will step up patrols and stage checkpoints as part of the “Booze It & Lose It” campaign to catch unlucky drivers who break the law. “St. Patrick’s Day is a day known for drinking alcohol,” said Don Nail, director of the N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program. “We encourage anyone traveling on our state’s roads to be smart and plan ahead if they are going to drink. Calling a taxi, taking public transit or having a designated driver will help ensure they celebrate safely.”  During last year’s St. Patrick’s Day “Booze It & Lose It” campaign, law enforcement officers made nearly 700 DWI arrests. The drivers involved could have avoided accidents or fines if they had not gotten behind the wheel after drinking. GHSP offers these safety tips for those celebrating St. Patrick’s Day at a pub or party to avoid getting a DWI: Before the festivities begin, plan a way to safely get home at the end of the night; Before drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home; If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local police in a safe way. You could save a life; and And, remember, if you know people who are about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they need to go safely. On North Carolina roads last year, there were 338 alcohol-related deaths. At the national level, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2011, on average, one person was killed every 53 minutes in a drunk-driving crash. Most of those crashes involved drunk drivers who had blood-alcohol concentrations of .15 or higher, almost twice the legal limit of .08. The St. Patrick’s Day “Booze It & Lose It” campaign will run throughout the weekend and end on Monday, March 17.  ***NCDOT***
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